The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called for a thorough investigation of Saturday’s military helicopter crash that killed Kaduna Governor Patrick Yakowa, former NSA Owoye Azazi and four others, saying unravelling the cause of the crash with a view to preventing a recurrence will mean the victims did not die in vain.
”It is said that every plane crash makes flying safer. That assumes that every such crash is properly investigated and the cause or causes found, disclosed and fed into efforts aimed at averting a recurrence.
Saturday’s crash should not be an exception,” the party said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
It said far from the rituals of mourning the victims of such tragedies and ordering a probe, this latest crash must not be allowed to go the way of the previous ones, the cause or causes of which are yet unknown, thus robbing the nation of the chance to make flying in the country safer.
ACN said till date, the March 2012 crash of a police helicopter in Jos, in which a Deputy Inspector-General of Police was killed, has yet to be unravelled, neither has the nation been told conclusively what caused the June 2012 crash of a Dana Air MD-83 plane that killed over 159 people, or even the series of deadly plane crashes that occurred prior to those ones.
”For the military, the crash in 2011 of two of the newly-procured Chinese fighter jets fit into this pattern, as the cause or causes have not been unravelled, to the best of our knowledge. The crash of another military aircraft, the Nigerian Navy Agusta helicopter, on Saturday must not be allowed to follow this pattern.
”The safety of the flying public as well as our men and women in uniform must be of paramount importance to those saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safe air travels, and no stone should be left unturned in ensuring this,” the party said.
ACN said it received the news of Saturday’s fatal crash with rude shock and deep sadness, describing it as an unspeakable national tragedy.
The party expressed its condolences to the federal government, the government and people of Kaduna and Bayelsa States, as well as the families of all those who died in the crash.
It prayed that God will give the families the ability to find understanding and strengthen them to bear their incomparable loss, and that the deceased will find eternal rest.